In a mock exercise using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, more commonly known as a drone, the city of Fallon recently mounted a search looking for a suicidal man who had trespassed on railroad property.
The Fallon Police Department responded to a report of a man walking along the rail spur between North Maine and Taylor streets.
Looking for a suicidal person along the tracks is not confined to one segment of the country or another. The Federal Railroad Administration reports an increase in the number of trespassers on the rails. According to a report, rail suicides ranged from 340 three years ago to 127 through August of this year. Rich Gent of Hot Rail Security said Nevada average two rail suicides per year.
“One thing people don’t think about is the horrible trauma that the train crews and first responders have to deal with in these types of situations,” he said. “Some train crews never come back to work after experiencing one of these incidents.”
The city along with Hot Rail Security and drone experts Flight Text Concierge LLC and Vertical Vantage Inc. developed a scenario that involved a suicidal person walking along the tracks. In this situation, a mother of a distraught teen called the Fallon Police Department after receiving a disturbing text from her son. Panicked, she can’t contact him, and she feels he is suicidal.